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Times of India
13 July 2010
Ahmedabad, India

High court disposes of hookah bar case
The Gujarat High Court on Monday disposed of its suo motu petition on hookah bars after the city police said that only three such bars followed norms and were allowed to function, while 17 others were shut down. Government pleader Prakash Jani also submitted an action taken report (ATR) in the court.

A bench headed by Chief Justice SJ Mukhopadhaya disposed of the case with instructions to the police authorities to conduct regular inspection and ensure that rules regarding use of tobacco in public places were followed.

The high court had asked the state government to find out the material used in hookahs and a report from the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) was also placed on record. Earlier, the police had given a clean chit to a majority of the bars stating norms were being followed.

The court last year took suo motu cognisance of news reports that stated the hookah bars were being used foe illegal activities, including serving tobacco to minors.

NGO Insaf Trust then joined in as a party and requested the high court to get the material used in hookahs checked. The bars were also accused of flouting recently implemented rules regarding use of tobacco in public places. The hookah bar association had been opposing the accusations.

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